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More Tiger Deaths.

Recombinomics Commentary
November 3, 2004

.>>>>The government also destroyed 147 tigers at Sri Racha Tiger Zoo where several tigers died from bird flu after being fed raw chicken.<<
The above comments raise more questions regarding the control and spread of avian flu among 441 tigers at the Sri Racha Tiger Zoo.  Initial reports indicated 83 tigers had died. Only a handful of the initial fatalities were due to government culling.  Subsequent reports indicated another 60 tigers had symptoms, even though they had been treated with anti-virals, including Tamiflu.  Follow-up reports indicated that although the 60 tigers had bird flu symptoms, they tested negative for H5N1.  Now the report linked above indicates that 147 have been killed, in addition to those that died before the culling began, suggesting that over 200 tigers may have died.
These data suggest that there was tiger to tiger transmission, because the symptoms developed over several weeks, although the infected chickens were thought to be from a single shipment (the zoo had been getting 13 tonnes of raw chickens per day).
The above interpretation suggests that the spread of the virus from tiger to tiger is quite efficient, even after tigers were isolated and placed on anti-viral medications, raising questions about the efficacy of such medications toward the control of a highly virulent H5N1 virus circulating in Thailand.  The data also raise questions about the sensitivity of the H5N1 detection tests on animals receiving anti-viral medications.

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